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Not everyone shrugs his shoulders and looks the other way: Jim Guell, 73, and a retired insurance broker, lives in a mobile home park north of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, directly across Highway 41 from where a series of billboards have been advertising competing local adult stores. Six billboards, three each, for the sex shops Lion’s Den and Xcite are in close proximity in a string of eight billboards on the highway. "I got tired of seeing those advertisements, those boards, every time I came home," Guell, a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal association, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I look out the window of my home and they're lit at night and I thought, I've got to combat this some way." He got the ball rolling, talked up the issue, passed the hat, and invited others to join the fight. Now there are competing messages --and not just among the smut vendors: So the line of messages on the eight 48-by-14-foot signs, approximately 500 feet from each other within two-thirds of a mile, goes like this: Horicon bank, Lion’s Den Adult Superstore, “Got God?”, “What would Jesus say about pornography?/Porn Destroys Love,” Lion’s Den Adult... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at feminine-genius
Lisa Mladinich has put together a wonderful piece at Patheos. It's an excellent review of the book, Guiding your Children Through Grief, and she illustrates it with a very helpful example from her how family--reminding us that grief results from more than the short list of expected events. Mothers, especially, should be aware of this resource (and another mentioned in the comment section) and perhaps familiarise themselves with the process, even if tragedy hasn't struck. It might provide a good "checklist" for our own lives, what was handled well, and where there may be some fragile spots in our own journeys. It's never to late to mind and mend! Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at feminine-genius
Virgin-born, we bow before you: Blessed was the womb that bore you; Mary, Mother meek and mild, Blessed was she in her Child. Blessed was the breast that fed you; Blessed was the hand that led you; Blessed was the parent’s eye That watched your slumbering infancy. Blessed she by all creation, Who brought forth the world’s salvation, And blessed they, forever blest, Who love you most and serve you best. Virgin-born, we bow before you; Blessed was the womb that bore you; Mary, Mother meek and mild, Blessed was she in her Child [from the Geneva Psalter]. Prayers, dear readers. Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2015 at feminine-genius
All rape is reprehensible, and yet there's something about the element of hypocrisy in the Cosby story that adds to the indignity -- and the problem is two-fold. First. there is the toxicity of our depraved celebrity culture; and second, the unfortunate damage cast upon fatherhood, which cannot avoid taking the hit in this unfolding saga, because the story involves one of the few television shows that highlighted a strong, dedicated, and likeable dad. First, we must remember that we're at the stage of allegations: Comedian Bill Cosby spoke out against a wave of sexual assault allegations but told a Florida publication he does not have to "answer to innuendos." Cosby, 77, spoke to the newspaper Florida Today on Friday, before performing his comedy routine at a theater in Melbourne, Florida. The comedian has refused to address questions about allegations made by a number of women who said he forced himself on them sexually, with some accusing him of drugging them first. Cosby received a standing ovation at the start of his 90-minute show in Melbourne. True enough, his point is valid, but the fact that presently the number of women stands at sixteen gives one pause, and the consistency... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2014 at feminine-genius
Beautiful quote herein: "One cannot love without suffering, or suffer without love" (Gianna Beretta Molla). showing "an alternative Gospel way of compelling beauty" -- Saint Gianna, pray for us! Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2014 at feminine-genius
If the world has you down, take a few minutes at least to watch the first of these Humanum videos: There are six in all (found here) -- beautifully written, compellingly filmed, and grounded in eternal truths. If we simply live this reality, all will be well. Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2014 at feminine-genius
Today is the feast of my patron saint, Saint Margaret of Scotland. Margaret was the daughter of King Edward the Exile of England. After her father's death, she fled from England; she was received by Malcolm III of Scotland, who later married her. As queen, Margaret convoked a synod which made regulations concerning the Lenten fast, Easter Communion, and marriage laws. She founded several churches, and was constantly engaged in prayer and pious practices. When I converted to the Church in 1984, I pored over a mini Butler to find just the right saint. Finally, I settled on this woman for a few reasons: she was lay, she had many children, and she died shortly after her husband (why stick around?). She also lived in a different land from where she was born. Small point, but nostalgically important then (and still). When the time came for my entrance into the Church, I announced I had chosen my "name," at which the priest receiving me was perplexed. "We don't do that any more," was his less-than-gracious reply. Remember, this was pre-RCIA and "off-season." (I was slipping into the Church in February because I wanted to have everything completed before my wedding.)... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2014 at feminine-genius
Pia de Solenni has brought to light a very important story, in which the Catholic bishops of Kenya have found evidence that a tetanus vaccine -- administered according to some very unusual protocols -- has been laced with a contraceptive agent, HCG. Both the Kenyan governement and the World Health Organisation deny the allegations, but MaterCare International has corroborated the evidence: Our concern and the subject of this discussion is the WHO/UNICEF sponsored tetanus immunization campaign launched last year in October ostensibly to eradicate neonatal tetanus. It is targeted at girls and women between the ages of 14 – 49 (child bearing age) and in 60 specific districts spread all around the country. The tetanus vaccine being used in this campaign has been imported into the country specifically for this purpose and bears a different batch number from the regular TT. So far, 3 doses have been given – the first in October 2013, the second in March 2014 and the third in October 2014. It is highly possible that there are two more doses to go. Giving five doses of tetanus vaccination every 6 months is not usual or the recommended regime for tetanus vaccination. The only time tetanus... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at feminine-genius
David Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) has always struck me as a thoughtful writer, and this piece is no exception. I'll pull out a few lines as teasers, lines which he backs up with excellent examples: The professional feminist is not there to help women, but to promote the agenda of the institutional left... The institutional left can’t call out Islam for sexism, homophobia and racism because it has already inducted it into its political coalition... Modern feminism is defined by talking non-stop about the things that don’t matter to avoid talking about the things that do... it frantically stirs up micro-controversies that are irrelevant to 99.99% of women... The last election cycle had reduced feminism to subsidized birth control. This cycle wiped it off the map entirely. While this last remark is true in one sense, as long as we subsidise Planned Parenthood, enable dependency, discourage marriage, and allow promiscuity to flourish unchecked in the media, feminism won't be dead. And it's a given that since they have few children of their own, they must always play the parasite with the children of others. As for the "culture of rape," yes it's true that the sexual left wants to fight... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2014 at feminine-genius
This is a view of the cupola of the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena, the only basilica in Spain to have been dedicated by a pope (Saint John Paul II, in 1993). Our Lady under this title is the patroness of Madrid, and today is their patronal feast. There is also a miraculous story that accompanies the Church: Legend has it that in the 8th century, when the Moors invaded the fortress where Madrid now stands, the people hid an image of the Virgin in the city walls, and only when the city was reconquered in the 15th century did a wall crumble to reveal her presence once again. Some versions suggest that the legendary el Cid found the image in the wall, and the Virgen helped him to retake the city. How beautiful is the cathedral, even if you don't speak Spanish, enjoy the imagery! Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2014 at feminine-genius
Jen Fulwiler and I are both converts, and for some reason this particular week, we both referenced our grandmothers as reminders of how the lives of women have changed -- and not for the better. In her reflection on Humanae Vitae, she notes: I pulled up another stack of glossy rags and pushed them around my bed so that I could see all the covers at once. Something I had always wondered, but had never articulated, came to the forefront of my mind: When, exactly, did the standard of beauty become a dictate that we must all look like Barbie dolls? When I saw pictures of my ancestors, the women always looked beautiful, but in a way that didn’t overwhelm the senses with their physical beauty alone. The faded photographs of my grandmothers and their grandmothers showed clothing styles that left some attention for their faces, that didn’t detract from the subtleties of their expressions. The draping of the material smoothed over details, so that a few extra pounds could be smoothed into graceful curves. Now, a century and a half later, society says a woman can hardly consider herself truly beautiful without a tight abdomen, slender physique, wrinkle-free face... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2014 at feminine-genius
I don't know much about this wrongful conviction, other than what was in the story, but of course the forgiveness angle was obvious. A mother of three was jailed for the murder of a homeless man, on the testimony of a [now deceased] woman with a penchant for lying. The actual murderers were eventual found, and now, 17 years after the conviction, Susan Mellen has been reunited with her family. "I'm a free woman now. Let me do the running man," she said, and did a few jogging dance steps before the microphones. She joked and beamed but also described her imprisonment as "cruel punishment." "I would cry every night" in prison, Mellen said, but never lost faith and even wrote "freedom" on the bottom of her tennis shoes "because I knew I was going to walk free one day." Mellen said she held no ill will against those who put her behind bars. "No, no, I always forgave my enemies," she said. "Even your haters, you have to forgive them and sometimes you have to thank them because they bring you closer to God." Mellen said she planned to go to dinner with her family and wanted to eat... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2014 at feminine-genius
This is the most helpful address I've seen so far at the Synod: Arturo and Hermelinda As Zamberline, married for 41 years with three children, addressed the Synod during the morning session Oct. 9. The designated subject for the session was the "pastoral challenges concerning an openness to life." "We must admit without fear that many Catholic couples, even those who seek to live their marriage seriously, do not feel obligated to use only the natural methods" of birth control condoned by the Church, said the Zamberlines, leaders in their country of an international Catholic movement, Teams of Our Lady. "We must add that generally they are not questioned by their confessors" on the subject. The Zamberlines, who are participating in the Synod as non-voting auditors, said the "rhythm of life" today makes it difficult to find time to learn natural methods of family planning, which they said have acquired an "unjust reputation of being unreliable," because they are badly explained and thus badly practised. "The great majority of couples do not reject the use of contraceptive methods. In general, they do not consider them a moral problem," the Zamberlines said. The Brazilian couple concluded with an appeal to the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at feminine-genius
That 's what comes to mind in the case of an Iranian prisoner, whose mother describes her anguish over her daughter's impending execution. A distraught Shole Pakravan, whose daughter, Rayhaneh Jabbari, 26, has spent seven years in prison awaiting execution, spoke to via Skype and begged for her daughter's life. "The only thing I want ... from God, from people around the world ... in any way, in any form, is I just want to bring Rayhaneh back home," Pakravan said in Farsi, which was translated by "I wish they would come tie a rope around my neck and kill me instead, but to allow Rayhaneh to come back home." More here. Petition here. Prayers, please, for this case and all the others. May all the innocent "doves" be freed. Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2014 at feminine-genius
Called to discuss the particular needs of the family at this time, a special session of the Synod of Bishops is about to begin, and George Weigel has some good words: The Synod discussion, in other words, should take the crisis of marriage and the family as a given and then lift up Christian marriages, lived faithfully and fruitfully, as the answer to that crisis. The Synod should begin with what is good and true and beautiful about Christian marriage and Christian family life, and show, by living examples, how that truth, goodness and beauty respond to the deepest longings of the human heart for solidarity, fidelity and fruitful love. It’s quite obvious that the Church faces real pastoral challenges in dealing with broken marriages and their results. But to begin the discussion of marriage and the family in the 21st century there is to begin at the wrong end of things. For it is only within the truth-about-marriage, which was given to the Church by the Lord himself, that compassionate and truthful solutions to those pastoral problems can be found. That said, besides living our marriages well -- despite the trials and difficulties, supporting those who are married, and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2014 at feminine-genius
Few people who didn't come of age in the 1980's understand the power of Fleetwood Mac, and this news item underscores the dark, sad side of our generation: Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks has confirmed that she was once pregnant with Don Henley’s child. The Eagles singer has said in interviews that Fleetwood Mac song ‘Sara’ was dedicated “to the spirit of the aborted baby” they conceived together. The lyrics (and the song) are at the site, so that you can see that what you were singing and dancing to back then was a death saga. For little Sara and millions more, who paid the price of our wantonness. Poor dears, and poor parents who never got over the choices they made. Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2014 at feminine-genius
From the Angelic Doctor: In ancient times it was an especially great event when an angel appeared to men, so that men might show them reverence, for they deserve the greatest praise. It was written in praise of Abraham that he received angels hospitably and that he showed them reverence. But it was never heard that an angel showed reverence to a man until he saluted the Blessed Virgin, saying reverently, “Hail.” The reason why in antiquity the angel did not reverence man but man the angel is that the angel was greater than man… Therefore it was not fitting that the angel should show reverence to man until someone should be found in human nature who exceeded the angels in those three respects. And this was the Blessed Virgin. In order to signify that she exceeded him in these three things, the angel wished to show her reverence; hence he said, “Hail.” THE ANGEL'S DIGNITY In olden time an Angel would not show reverence to a man, but a man would deeply revere an Angel. This is because Angels are greater than men, and indeed in three ways. First, they are greater than men in dignity. This is because... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2014 at feminine-genius
That phrase was coined by Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick, a doctor in the UK who is part of the group, Not Dead Yet, and who noted, "death in Belgium was now regarded 'as lightly as stepping off a bus'. Well, for a variety of reasons a couple from Belgium (who are still at home, only suffering from age-related illnesses) have chosen their 64th wedding anniversary next February to end it all: An elderly husband and wife have announced their plans to die in the world's first 'couple' euthanasia - despite neither of them being terminally ill. Instead the pair fear loneliness if the other one dies first from natural causes. Identified only by their first names, Francis, 89, and Anne, 86, they have the support of their three adult children who say they would be unable to care for either parent if they became widowed. Now that last line about the three children is curious, since the couple themselves were unable to find the right doctor to accomodate this wish. The children graciously took the time to make the arrangements, for which the parents are "grateful." This plan, they say, is necessary because of their myriad fears about the future: the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2014 at feminine-genius
God bless Emma Watson for her good intentions: But the problem she may be too young to grasp involves the actions of feminists over the last 60 years. These are the points on which she is spot on: It is in the best interest of men to protect women; All children need their fathers -- whose importance has been marginalised by the culture; Girls have a right to education and personal integrity; Women and men are fundamentally equal; The legitimate needs of men are often eclipsed by cultural stereotypes; Child marriages are deplorable and need to be stopped; These issues are urgent and essential. The problems arise concerning the hidden agenda of feminism: Equal pay for equal work is a canard based on false data; Freedom of opportunity has often been the premise for quotas; The gender "spectrum" is a masque for the LGBT agenda; "Gender equality" is a masque for androgyny; "Women's rights" is a masque for abortion-on-demand; "Social equality" is a masque for rampant secularism; Fighting "agression" is a masque for degrading legitimate male strengths. "Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one?" she asks. Women are uncomfortable identifying as feminists because of its politics, which have... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2014 at feminine-genius
Interesting that she wasn't defending the rights of women, the rights of conscience, or the right to bodily integrity, but protesting the destruction of cultural sites in Iraq: Militants with the Islamic State group publicly killed a rights lawyer in the Iraqi city of Mosul after finding her guilty of apostasy in a self-styled Islamic court, the U.N. mission in Iraq said Thursday. Samira Salih al-Nuaimi was seized from her home on Sept. 17 after allegedly posting messages on Facebook that were critical of the militants' destruction of religious sites in Mosul. According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, al-Nuaimi was tried in a so-called "Sharia court" for apostasy, after which she was tortured for five days before the militants sentenced her to "public execution." She was killed on Monday, the U.N. mission said. Her Facebook page appears to have been removed since her death. "By torturing and executing a female human rights' lawyer and activist, defending in particular the civil and human rights of her fellow citizens in Mosul, ISIL continues to attest to its infamous nature, combining hatred, nihilism and savagery, as well as its total disregard of human decency," Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. envoy to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2014 at feminine-genius
My newest piece at Catholic Lane is here: While many pious people are wringing their hands over the popular culture and wondering if God will save his people, I find that the moral decay and preposterous incongruities we witness daily actually reinforce all I believe about Divine Revelation [read the rest ...] While many pious people are wringing their hands over the popular culture and wondering if God will save his people, I find that the moral decay and preposterous incongruities we witness daily actually reinforce all I believe about Divine Revelation. What else is to be expected when God is removed from the Public Square? - See more at: While many pious people are wringing their hands over the popular culture and wondering if God will save his people, I find that the moral decay and preposterous incongruities we witness daily actually reinforce all I believe about Divine Revelation. What else is to be expected when God is removed from the Public Square? - See more at: While many pious people are wringing their hands over the popular culture and wondering if God will save his people, I find that the moral decay and preposterous incongruities we... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2014 at feminine-genius
There are the favoured groups that receive kid-glove treatment, there are the career choices that are praised for taking women into unchartered territory, and there is reality. Recently, all three collided to the detriment of female mixed-martial arts competitor Tamikka Brents: In a post-fight interview this week, she told Whoa TV that "I've never felt so overpowered ever in my life." “I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because [he] was born a man or not, because I’m not a doctor,” she stated. “I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right. ” His “grip was different,” she added. “I could usually move around in the clinch against...females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch.” Ms. Brents had the trauma of fighting Fallon Fox and didn't last three minutes. Fox who was transgendered in 2006 now pretends to be a woman. But he's not, and now the league is wondering how to proceed when anyone can say "I'm a woman, and I want... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2014 at feminine-genius
Family meals are essential! Discussion on Relevant Radio here. The Slate article I reference is "Let's Stop Idealising the Home-Cooked Meal", which has some decent points: The researchers interviewed 150 mothers from all walks of life and spent 250 hours observing 12 families in-depth, and they found “that time pressures, tradeoffs to save money, and the burden of pleasing others make it difficult for mothers to enact the idealized vision of home-cooked meals advocated by foodies and public health officials.” The mothers they interviewed had largely internalized the social message that “home-cooked meals have become the hallmark of good mothering, stable families, and the ideal of the healthy, productive citizen,” but found that as much as they wanted to achieve that ideal, they didn't have the time or money to get there. Low-income mothers often have erratic work schedules, making it impossible to have set meal times. Even for middle-class working mothers who are able to be home by 6 p.m., trying to cook a meal while children are demanding attention and other chores need doing becomes overwhelming. Beyond just the time and money constraints, women find that their very own families present a major obstacle to their desire to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2014 at feminine-genius
The bulk of the details are here, and an excellent 10-minute video is here, which outlines the insanity that prevails in refusing to connect the religious/cultural view of the perpetrators with their behaviour. There must be a honest, vigourous debate about immigration policy, legal implications, and social service priorities. But that said, we cannot ignore the question of why there are thousands of vulnerable girls subject to abuse. The answer lies in the disintegration of the family, the widespread addiction to drugs and alchohol, and the sexual climate which turns a blind eye to promiscuity in our young. Consider: girls are gone for hours, even days without concern by parents or caregivers; girls are plied with alcohol and return home raped -- with no one to notice; girls think nothing of drinking and promiscuity from the outset, before being abused; police see sexual activity of very young girls as a cultural norm; police are overwhelmed with homeless, vagrant children; social service agencies, likewise, are overwhelmed with vagrancy and degraded clients. Of course, there is the fear of being labeled "racist," which complicates things, and the bar of lowered expectations among the non-Muslim population ("One young person told the inquiry that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2014 at feminine-genius
Last year, I enjoyed a lovely, rambling conversation with Pat Gohn on the topic of forgiveness. She has just released it this week, and it's available here. God's timing is always perfect, so perhaps now is when He would have you consider this important subject. As my book indicates, walking through the flames, doing the challenging work of healing through forgiveness is well worth it, for only then are you really Set Free! Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at feminine-genius